Cain, Noah and Agriculture

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
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Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#1

Post by ForeverFaithful » Thu May 10, 2018 9:29 pm

Hello everyone,

I used to read this website all the time when I was in highschool and am very happy to have found it once again. I was recently reading Genesis and struggling to understand something. In these two passages the problem lies:

Genesis 4:2 Later she [Eve] gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer.

Genesis 9:20 Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard.

So here's my issue. If we grant the extended human history of a Progressive Old Earth Creationism, it would seem that the time of Adam's sons and the Deluge are both long before agriculture as archaeologists traditionally understand it.

How do we then understand these verses?

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#2

Post by DBowling » Fri May 11, 2018 3:55 am

ForeverFaithful wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:29 pm
Hello everyone,

I used to read this website all the time when I was in highschool and am very happy to have found it once again. I was recently reading Genesis and struggling to understand something. In these two passages the problem lies:

Genesis 4:2 Later she [Eve] gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer.

Genesis 9:20 Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard.

So here's my issue. If we grant the extended human history of a Progressive Old Earth Creationism, it would seem that the time of Adam's sons and the Deluge are both long before agriculture as archaeologists traditionally understand it.

How do we then understand these verses?
This sounds like an issue that I have found myself working through over the last few years.

As you noted Genesis 4, which takes place between between the time of Adam and Noah, describes Neolithic not Prehistoric human behavior. There is also the language of the Genesis 5 (Adam to Noah) and Genesis 11 (Shem to Abraham) genealogies which does not allow for the huge gaps that some assert to try and push Adam and Noah into prehistoric times.

The Genesis 5 and Genesis 9 genealogies (Septuagint version - I've explained elsewhere why that's significant) place Adam in the 5000 to 6000 BC timeframe and Noah in the 3000 BC timeframe, which is actually consistent with the Neolithic culture in Mesopotamia that we see described in Genesis 4.

Which brought me to what I refer to as an "Old Earth/Young Adam" position.
I believe that the Scriptural genealogies do accurately represent the amount of time that passed between Adam and Abraham which places Adam in Neolithic Mesopotamia around 5000 to 6000 BC.

I also believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 should be read sequentially based on how the phrase "these are the generations" is used throughout the book of Genesis, instead of presuming that Genesis 2 is a recapitulation of day 6 of Genesis 1. There are other indicators in sequence of events in the Scriptural narrative to demonstrate that day 6 of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are not referring to the same event.

If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are read sequentially, then the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27) takes place some unspecified amount of time before Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2. So I came to the conclusion that Genesis 1:26-27 describes God's creation of prehistoric mankind, while Genesis 2 starts the genealogical record of God's covenant people in Neolithic Mesopotamia with Adam who was the first person to have relationship with God.

I've discussed my thoughts on this topic in depth in other posts. But that's a quick overview of my journey on this topic.
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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#3

Post by ForeverFaithful » Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 am

DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:55 am


If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are read sequentially, then the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27) takes place some unspecified amount of time before Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2. So I came to the conclusion that Genesis 1:26-27 describes God's creation of prehistoric mankind, while Genesis 2 starts the genealogical record of God's covenant people in Neolithic Mesopotamia with Adam who was the first person to have relationship with God.

I've discussed my thoughts on this topic in depth in other posts. But that's a quick overview of my journey on this topic.
I have two main issues with this reading.

1. Since human death entered the world through sin, and thus Christ needed to come to redeem all mankind, all humanity suffers the consequences of Adam's sins among them death and the weakness of will. This is universal so Adam must be a common ancestor to all humanity not just the messianic branch.

2. Even if we grant that Adam was not our only ancestor, we must still admit that Noah is a more recent male ancestor. The flood may not be geographically universal, but it must have destroyed the early human population because that is why God brought it about. Therefore, we can not place Adam or Noah any more recent in history than our Most Recent Shared Ancestor.
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Kurieuo (Fri May 11, 2018 6:21 am)

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#4

Post by Kurieuo » Fri May 11, 2018 6:31 am

ForeverFaithful wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:29 pm
Hello everyone,

I used to read this website all the time when I was in highschool and am very happy to have found it once again. I was recently reading Genesis and struggling to understand something. In these two passages the problem lies:

Genesis 4:2 Later she [Eve] gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer.

Genesis 9:20 Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard.

So here's my issue. If we grant the extended human history of a Progressive Old Earth Creationism, it would seem that the time of Adam's sons and the Deluge are both long before agriculture as archaeologists traditionally understand it.

How do we then understand these verses?
I'm not sure I follow you fully. It doesn't say Noah was the first man to plant a vineyard? How are Adam's sons long before agriculture, why not place them in the agricultural period (i.e., generally accepted as 10k-15k years ago)?

I also don't follow the relevance of mentioning Noah, and why would the flood would also be long before agricultural period? There's some gaps in your deductions I'm missing/not following.

Understand also the positions withing progressive creation, which simply has come to mean God created progressively over long periods of time, can be quite diverse. There are also many views on the flood. So if you're assuming specific positions, it might be good to elaborate upon such which could provide better understand of the issues you're seeing.
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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#5

Post by DBowling » Fri May 11, 2018 6:37 am

ForeverFaithful wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 am
DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:55 am


If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are read sequentially, then the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27) takes place some unspecified amount of time before Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2. So I came to the conclusion that Genesis 1:26-27 describes God's creation of prehistoric mankind, while Genesis 2 starts the genealogical record of God's covenant people in Neolithic Mesopotamia with Adam who was the first person to have relationship with God.

I've discussed my thoughts on this topic in depth in other posts. But that's a quick overview of my journey on this topic.
I have two main issues with this reading.

1. Since human death entered the world through sin, and thus Christ needed to come to redeem all mankind, all humanity suffers the consequences of Adam's sins among them death and the weakness of will. This is universal so Adam must be a common ancestor to all humanity not just the messianic branch.
I disagree... Romans 5:12 tells us that sin and death passed to all mankind as a result of Adam's sin. Romans 5:12 doesn't tell us the mechanism whereby sin and death passed to all mankind.

Augustine proposed that the mechanism was procreation. But Scripture does not make that claim.

If the mechanism is not procreation (and Scripture does not tell us that it is) then there is no Scriptural requirement for Adam to be the genetic progenitor for all humanity.
2. Even if we grant that Adam was not our only ancestor, we must still admit that Noah is a more recent male ancestor. The flood may not be geographically universal, but it must have destroyed the early human population because that is why God brought it about. Therefore, we can not place Adam or Noah any more recent in history than our Most Recent Shared Ancestor.
The scope of the flood comes down to the meaning of the word 'erets'. Genesis 6-9 tells us that all the people "in the land/erets" were destroyed. If we use Scripture as a guide, the Geography mentioned from Genesis 2-9 is limited to the region of Mesopotamia. (Eden, Tigris, Euphrates, the mountains of Ararat).
So going by the Biblical narrative, the land/erets in question refers to the land of Mesopotamia. And the people who were destroyed by the Flood were all the people "in the land/erets" with the exception of Noah and his family.

So I am convinced that from a Scriptural perspective there is no requirement for either Adam or Noah to be the genetic progenitor of all mankind.
However, both Adam and Noah are key people in the genetic line of God's covenant people, who began with Adam and found it's ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#6

Post by Kurieuo » Fri May 11, 2018 7:34 am

ForeverFaithful wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 am
DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:55 am


If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are read sequentially, then the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27) takes place some unspecified amount of time before Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2. So I came to the conclusion that Genesis 1:26-27 describes God's creation of prehistoric mankind, while Genesis 2 starts the genealogical record of God's covenant people in Neolithic Mesopotamia with Adam who was the first person to have relationship with God.

I've discussed my thoughts on this topic in depth in other posts. But that's a quick overview of my journey on this topic.
I have two main issues with this reading.

1. Since human death entered the world through sin, and thus Christ needed to come to redeem all mankind, all humanity suffers the consequences of Adam's sins among them death and the weakness of will. This is universal so Adam must be a common ancestor to all humanity not just the messianic branch.
This essentially captures one of my main objections also, and that the doctrine of original sin in particular and Paul's arguments to do with our sin and condemnation via the one man are hard to escape. (see On Original Sin - Romans 5:12-21
2. Even if we grant that Adam was not our only ancestor, we must still admit that Noah is a more recent male ancestor. The flood may not be geographically universal, but it must have destroyed the early human population because that is why God brought it about. Therefore, we can not place Adam or Noah any more recent in history than our Most Recent Shared Ancestor.
This would require further discussion.

There are many extra-biblical flood stories, reporting similar floods with many similar unique traits. Some report that people went to higher ground and hid in caves of mountains.

I think it reasonable to entertain that perhaps the world described within the flood was within the context of the ancient Near East region. This doesn't mean that other people throughout other areas of the world weren't affected by related events, but what is being reported in Scripture is specific to what happened in the ancient Near East.
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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#7

Post by Kurieuo » Fri May 11, 2018 7:49 am

DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:37 am
ForeverFaithful wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 am
DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:55 am


If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are read sequentially, then the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27) takes place some unspecified amount of time before Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2. So I came to the conclusion that Genesis 1:26-27 describes God's creation of prehistoric mankind, while Genesis 2 starts the genealogical record of God's covenant people in Neolithic Mesopotamia with Adam who was the first person to have relationship with God.

I've discussed my thoughts on this topic in depth in other posts. But that's a quick overview of my journey on this topic.
I have two main issues with this reading.

1. Since human death entered the world through sin, and thus Christ needed to come to redeem all mankind, all humanity suffers the consequences of Adam's sins among them death and the weakness of will. This is universal so Adam must be a common ancestor to all humanity not just the messianic branch.
I disagree... Romans 5:12 tells us that sin and death passed to all mankind as a result of Adam's sin. Romans 5:12 doesn't tell us the mechanism whereby sin and death passed to all mankind.
DB, note also 1 Cor 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

Also, elsewhere further on in same said chapter: "47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[f] also bear the image of the man of heaven."

Heiser would agree with FF here also: 'Adam and Eve *sinned* and then died. They lost immortality, and therefore all their descendants did. All who descend from Adam die...'
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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#8

Post by DBowling » Fri May 11, 2018 7:51 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 7:34 am
ForeverFaithful wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 am
1. Since human death entered the world through sin, and thus Christ needed to come to redeem all mankind, all humanity suffers the consequences of Adam's sins among them death and the weakness of will. This is universal so Adam must be a common ancestor to all humanity not just the messianic branch.
This essentially captures one of my main objections also, and that the doctrine of original sin in particular and Paul's arguments to do with our sin and condemnation via the one man are hard to escape. (see On Original Sin - Romans 5:12-21
As I mention above there is no conflict between my position and what Paul teaches in Romans 5:12-21.
My disagreement is not with Scripture and Paul.

My disagreement is with the tradition that began with Augustine that claims that "sin passed to all mankind" through procreation.

And if given a choice, I will choose the teaching of Scripture in Gen 4, Gen 5, and Gen 11 that places Adam and Noah in Neolithic Mesopotamia over an Augustinian tradition that claims that the mechanism through which "sin passed to all mankind" was procreation (and Augustine is one of my heroes).

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#9

Post by DBowling » Fri May 11, 2018 8:18 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 7:49 am
DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:37 am
ForeverFaithful wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 am

1. Since human death entered the world through sin, and thus Christ needed to come to redeem all mankind, all humanity suffers the consequences of Adam's sins among them death and the weakness of will. This is universal so Adam must be a common ancestor to all humanity not just the messianic branch.
I disagree... Romans 5:12 tells us that sin and death passed to all mankind as a result of Adam's sin. Romans 5:12 doesn't tell us the mechanism whereby sin and death passed to all mankind.
DB, note also 1 Cor 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

Also, elsewhere further on in same said chapter: "47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[f] also bear the image of the man of heaven."

Heiser would agree with FF here also: 'Adam and Eve *sinned* and then died. They lost immortality, and therefore all their descendants did. All who descend from Adam die...'

Verse 47 provides some important context to this discussion...

In 1 Cor 15:47 Adam is identified as the "first man"
And Jesus is identified as the "second man"
So from immediate context we can see that Paul is not claiming that Adam was the first human and Jesus was the second human in 1 Cor 15:47.

The verses you quote from 1 Cor 15 also indicate that we are physically mortal (of the dust) just like Adam was physically mortal (a man of dust)... See Psalm 103:14.
And Adam's inherent physical mortality (being formed from dust) explains why God put the Tree of Life in the Garden prior to the Fall. The Tree of Life was God's remedy to Adam's inherent mortality prior to the Fall.

So the 'dusty' nature of Adam in 1 Cor 15 and the presence of the Tree of Life in the Garden prior to the Fall are two Scriptural indicators that mankind was inherently physically mortal prior to the Fall.

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri May 11, 2018 9:12 am

DBowling wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:55 am
ForeverFaithful wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:29 pm
Hello everyone,

I used to read this website all the time when I was in highschool and am very happy to have found it once again. I was recently reading Genesis and struggling to understand something. In these two passages the problem lies:

Genesis 4:2 Later she [Eve] gave birth to another son, Abel. Abel became a shepherd, but Cain was a farmer.

Genesis 9:20 Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard.

So here's my issue. If we grant the extended human history of a Progressive Old Earth Creationism, it would seem that the time of Adam's sons and the Deluge are both long before agriculture as archaeologists traditionally understand it.

How do we then understand these verses?
This sounds like an issue that I have found myself working through over the last few years.

As you noted Genesis 4, which takes place between between the time of Adam and Noah, describes Neolithic not Prehistoric human behavior. There is also the language of the Genesis 5 (Adam to Noah) and Genesis 11 (Shem to Abraham) genealogies which does not allow for the huge gaps that some assert to try and push Adam and Noah into prehistoric times.

The Genesis 5 and Genesis 9 genealogies (Septuagint version - I've explained elsewhere why that's significant) place Adam in the 5000 to 6000 BC timeframe and Noah in the 3000 BC timeframe, which is actually consistent with the Neolithic culture in Mesopotamia that we see described in Genesis 4.

Which brought me to what I refer to as an "Old Earth/Young Adam" position.
I believe that the Scriptural genealogies do accurately represent the amount of time that passed between Adam and Abraham which places Adam in Neolithic Mesopotamia around 5000 to 6000 BC.

I also believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 should be read sequentially based on how the phrase "these are the generations" is used throughout the book of Genesis, instead of presuming that Genesis 2 is a recapitulation of day 6 of Genesis 1. There are other indicators in sequence of events in the Scriptural narrative to demonstrate that day 6 of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are not referring to the same event.

If Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are read sequentially, then the creation of mankind (Genesis 1:26-27) takes place some unspecified amount of time before Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2. So I came to the conclusion that Genesis 1:26-27 describes God's creation of prehistoric mankind, while Genesis 2 starts the genealogical record of God's covenant people in Neolithic Mesopotamia with Adam who was the first person to have relationship with God.

I've discussed my thoughts on this topic in depth in other posts. But that's a quick overview of my journey on this topic.
This is inline with God's use of specific groups of people or individuals as representatives of ALL people.
Also inline with Paul's use of Adam and Christ for the same thing.
Adam is used to show that all humans need saving ( since all humans are like Adam) and that Christ will save all since He is full Human and Fully God.

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#11

Post by ForeverFaithful » Fri May 11, 2018 11:32 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:31 am

I'm not sure I follow you fully. It doesn't say Noah was the first man to plant a vineyard? How are Adam's sons long before agriculture, why not place them in the agricultural period (i.e., generally accepted as 10k-15k years ago)?

I also don't follow the relevance of mentioning Noah, and why would the flood would also be long before agricultural period? There's some gaps in your deductions I'm missing/not following.

Understand also the positions withing progressive creation, which simply has come to mean God created progressively over long periods of time, can be quite diverse. There are also many views on the flood. So if you're assuming specific positions, it might be good to elaborate upon such which could provide better understand of the issues you're seeing.
My understanding is that genetically speaking we date our last common ancestors long before 15k BC, and we can not date Noah or Adam after our MRCA.

So on a larger time scale where do we place them, especially if we hold that Adam truly is an ancestor to all humans today

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#12

Post by DBowling » Fri May 11, 2018 8:21 pm

ForeverFaithful wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:32 am
My understanding is that genetically speaking we date our last common ancestors long before 15k BC, and we can not date Noah or Adam after our MRCA.
So on a larger time scale where do we place them, especially if we hold that Adam truly is an ancestor to all humans today
Again you are asking precisely the same questions that led me to my current view regarding Adam and Noah.

Most anthropologists place y-chromosome adam (not the Biblical Adam) and mitochondrial eve (not the Biblical Eve) somewhere between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago.
There is no way that the genealogies in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 can get the Biblical Adam and Eve anywhere remotely close to 150,000 to 200,000 years ago.

And then there is that pesky Genesis 4 which describes the human civilization between Adam and Noah as Neolithic not Prehistoric.
There is no anthropological evidence anywhere to support the assertion that the human civilization described in Genesis 4 existed anywhere prior to 10,000 BC.
Which is why Genesis 4, Genesis 5, and Genesis 11 make it Scripturally impossible for Adam and especially Noah (who lived after the events of Genesis 4) to have lived prior to 10,000 BC.

- Genesis 4, Genesis 5, and Genesis 11 place the Biblical Adam and Noah in Neolithic Mesopotamia well after 10,000 BC.
- Anthropology and genetics place the earliest biologically modern humans in Africa around 150,000 to 200,000 years ago (loooooong before the time of the Biblical Adam and Noah).

- Scripture nowhere claims that Adam is the genetic progenitor of all humans
- Scripture does indicate that God created mankind in Genesis 1:26-27 prior to when the Biblical Adam and Eve appear in Genesis 2.

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#13

Post by Philip » Fri May 11, 2018 9:51 pm

DB, have you ever read Rich Deem's article on the telescoping of the Bible genealogies?

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... ogies.html

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#14

Post by DBowling » Sat May 12, 2018 3:26 am

Philip wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:51 pm
DB, have you ever read Rich Deem's article on the telescoping of the Bible genealogies?

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... ogies.html
Yes, I have... and to be honest, that used to be my position.

And with other genealogies in Scripture we can observe telescoping. Matthew 1 is a genealogy that obviously involves telescoping.
However, if we look specifically at the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies, the grammatical structure of those two Genealogies simply doesn't allow for telescoping.

Deem even acknowledges the different nature of the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies in his article
In most cases it’s not very controversial that many (or even most) biblical genealogies are telescoped. However, the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 differ in at least one respect. We see the repeated formula, “When X had lived Y years, he became the father of (i.e. ‘begat’, yalad) Z” (NIV), rather than simply “X was the father of Y” or “X the son of Y” as we see elsewhere in the Bible. So, some argue that our conclusions about other biblical genealogies may not apply to Genesis 5 and 11.
This is why I think the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies are key here.
- The narrative formula of the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies does not allow for telescoping or gaps
- Together, the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies cover the complete time from Adam to Abraham.

Now, when we compare the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint versions of the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies, we do discover that there is a legitimate textual issue between the two versions.
Luke 3 validates the Septuagint version, so I believe that from a textual perspective, the Septuagint version of the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies is more accurate than the Masoretic Text version.
Therefore, the famous Ussher numbers (which are based on the Masoretic Text) are fundamentally flawed.

Which brings me back again to the Scriptural basis for rejecting the premise that Adam and/or Noah are either prehistoric humans or the genetic progenitors of all humans.
1. The human culture and technology described in Genesis 4 (which takes place before Noah) did not exist prior to 10,000 BC.
2. The narrative formula of the Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies covers the time from Adam to Abraham and does not allow for telescoping or gaps.

On the other hand...
1. The human culture and technology described in Genesis 4 is consistent with that of Neolithic Mesopotamia.
2. The Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 genealogies place both Adam and Noah within the Neolithic time frame.

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Re: Cain, Noah and Agriculture

#15

Post by Philip » Sat May 12, 2018 12:29 pm

So, DB - as an enormous amount of study, research and wide-ranging and often contentious opinions have raged over this question, why do you think the text wasn't given in a way so as to have made it crystal clear - to the point the issue would have no reasonable debate? Because there is no way God didn't foresee the modern era of science and that the debate would take up so much time and effort.

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